Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Rebelled...


In the first grade. I started young.


How could this sweet little girl who was soooo excited to get to go to kindergarten could, in only a year, become a recalcitrant first grader?

I can truthfully say that I was raised to honor, not only my parents, but also any adults and especially teachers. My grandmother on my momma's side was a teacher, my mom went to college and was qualified to teach. My mother and father both truly felt it was very important for all of us kids to get an education so we could better ourselves... to be successful, fulfilled human beings.

What can I say... my parents also taught us to be truthful. Where I missed the boat was the lesson on WHEN I was supposed to be truthful.


The set-up:

First grade... Miss Bartlett, the teacher.

The criminal:

I'll rat myself out on the line-up... back row, fifth from the right. That smiling, happy girl with the center part and hair up in braids.

The crime:

School lunch. To tell the truth or not to tell the truth.

I'll now plead my case... Sixty years (approximately) after the rebellion.

Some of the time all us kids ate in the school cafeteria. For those of you, dear readers that are younger, you may wonder what's the big deal. For those my age you know that cafeteria food was way different back in the olden days. To say that the food was only a step above hospital food back then may be construed as exaggerated but I digress. I got my tray of cafeteria food for my lunch. I honestly do not remember anything that was on my tray other than.... drum roll...

Mixed carrots and peas. The cause of my standing up to authority. Saying no to my teacher. As the kids say nowdays... MY BAD!!!

I had eaten everything on my tray except the carrots and peas. Miss Bartlett, doing her teacherly duty and patrolling the cafeteria, saw this criminal headed to the trash bin to empty the tray before going out to lunch recess and stopped me in my tracks. "You need to eat your carrots and peas, not put them in the trash." I, in all my innocence, looked up at my teacher and said, "My momma doesn't make me eat peas and carrots." Miss Bartlett drew herself up and said 'we' will not be going out to recess until you eat your peas and carrots...

This child loved recess almost as much as going to school and learning new things. This child and her teacher sat in the cafeteria looking at that tray with those miserable peas and carrots on it until it was time to go to afternoon classes.

I don't remember getting in trouble for being defiant to my teacher but I'm sure that I got a stern talking to about the whole situation. My parents never forced us kids to eat anything. They urged us to try any food that mom put on the table but if we didn't like it we didn't have to eat it or try to eat it the next time mom cooked it. I imagine that I probably related the story to my parents honestly and was probably told that I should have tried to eat my peas and carrots but since I told the truth to the teacher it was okay but don't let it happen again. I am pretty sure I would have remembered if I had gotten a spanking for being rebellious child. I remember most of the spankings I got in my life and I don't think I got whopped for this instance but it has been, OMG, over sixty years ago and I have slept since then.

And to this day I don't like peas and/or carrots alone, much less mixed together. I can eat carrots in carrot cake and a few cooked in with a roast but don't expect me to eat peas... except in fake guacamole. And that's the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Amen.

12 comments:

Sara said...

You really made me laugh. You are right in remembering how bad cafeteria food was back in the 50's and 60's. My husband tells a similar story about creamed spinach at school - and he won't eat it now either. For me it was stewed tomatoes. What crazy person thought kids would actually LIKE creamed spinach or stewed tomatoes? Thanks for the chuckle and the stroll down memory lane.

Tatersmama said...

LOL! You ARE a girl after my own heart, Sass! Cafeteria food was awful at the best of times, but there were times that it was just purely horrid. I always loved fresh or frozen peas, but those danged canned peas they served us, would make me vomit every time! And guess what man absolutely LOVES 'em!! Canned peas... canned carrots... canned peas and carrots together - URP!
You know what? I can even remember how much those gosh-awful lunches cost us! 25 cents - and I sometimes skipped buying a lunch ticket so I could go to Mr Alberts market on the way home from school and guts myself on candy instead!

Poppy said...

You're a hoot! I too remember the cafeteria food in school. I wanted to take my lunch so badly but my mother wouldn't let me. I was horribly jealous of all the other children who were lucky enough to have mothers that let them pack a lunch.

Each day, I longingly watched the Star Wars and Barbie lunch boxes being opened to reveal the heavenly sights of thermos of soup, sandwiches sliced in triangles and TWINKIES!!!! Ohhhh the Twinkies.......

Now that I have my own children, I am that mean mother, making them eat cafeteria food.

Thanks for putting a smile on my face today!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Well, I loved your story and the pictures of you. And that whole class.....aren't they just about the cutest things?? What a bunch of goofballs! (Mine looks pretty similar at that age.) Loved the kid with the not-so-subtle bandage on his head!

I have to tell you....I LOVED school lunches. My mother was such a bad cook that it made school lunches look gourmet - and my favorite thing was the canned spinach. I know. I'm weird. I would have eaten your canned carrots and peas and saved you the trouble! It was a rare treat when we got to buy a school lunch and I'd pick up those mimeographed papers of the whole menu for a month (remember those and how they smelled??) and I'd fantasize about MAYBE getting to eat lunch there some of those days. It's all relative. YOUR mom must have been a good cook! hahahaha LOVED THIS!

Laura~peach~ said...

i love peas and carrots wish i had been around I would have gladly traded you that horrid milk for them... to this day i dont like milk and it dont like me:)

Paxie said...

LOL LOL you little stinker! I like peas. They were always in our TV dinners Mom got when she didn't have time to cook. I remember those lunches. Mainly the square of "dressing" smelled like Comet. I can't recall eating peas in school though.

Love that you have this photo!! You were a cutie..that's how you got away with stuff hahahaha...

farmlady said...

Oh boy... I hate to say this but I'm with a few other comments on this one. I like canned peas. I don't know why. They are soft and mushy.. but I like them. I don't think I ever admitted that to anyone before.
I like peas and carrots, succotash and canned green beans... oh, and creamed corn. OK... there, I have said it.
Thanks for this post. Took me right back to the 50's and the cafeteria lunches. I really liked the canned peaches and creamed chicken on mashed potatoes... Oh, there I go again...
What a cute child you were. I had braids too. Maybe we were related.

Lonicera said...

Enjoyed your story, the oh-so-cute pictures, and the remarks by your blogger friends, which made me smile.
I suppose my hate at school dinners was spring greens (is that what you call them in the US? Like spinach, only much larger leaves, coarser and stringier - ugh). And the meat we were given almost always had gristle on it - and to this day I'll spend ages carefully carving out what I construe to be gristle in a meat dish.
It was common to do this to children - make them sit there with congealing food, which inevitably was going to give them a trauma about it for the rest of their lives. All for the sake of reinforcing some stupid principle of authority over the child.
Caroline

Roslyn said...

Ha that picture looks very similar to my kinder picture, center part, braids & all Helen.

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